Have you ever heard of ‘leftover chocolate’? Yes, contrary to popular belief, it does exist and I’m sure that you may have some left in a store cupboard somewhere including some Easter eggs. This recipe is one way to use up chocolate and make a once in a while treat to share. You could also use cooking chocolate for the brownies. Makes 16 pieces 175g vegan margarine or butter, plus extra for greasing 200g dark, milk or plain chocolate, broken into pieces 200g light soft brown sugar 2 medium eggs 1 tsp vanilla extract (optional) 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon 100g plain flour 25g cocoa powder Preheat the oven to gas 4, 180°C, fan 160°C. Grease a 20cm (8 inch) baking tin and line with nonstick baking paper. Set aside 50g of the chopped chocolate. Slowly melt the remaining 150g of the chocolate and margarine or butter in a small heat proof bowl set over a pan of hot water, then take off the heat and stir until smooth. Leave to cool for 10 minutes. Put the sugar, eggs and vanilla, if using, in a separate bowl and briefly whisk to combine. Stir in the cooled chocolate mixture and blend/ Then add the cinnamon, flour and to sift in and cocoa, then you can add the remaining chocolate and mix well. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for 20-25 mins, until a thin crust forms on the surface. Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin for 30 minutes, before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Cut into 16 squares. Enjoy cold from the fridge, at room temperature of warmed in the microwave for 10 seconds. To freeze the brownies, wrap tightly in foil and eat within 2 months. Defrost for 1 hour at room temperature.
Serve as a first course or as a side vegetable with pork chops or lamb cutlets. The nice addition is the parsley to give it that extra flavour. Serves 4 20 flat black mushrooms, stalks removed 4 tbsp olive oil 2 small lemons, zest removed and chopped, juice squeezed salt and pepper 100g fresh breadcrumbs 1 bunch flat parsley, leaves only 100g butter, melted Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas Mark 6. Put the mushrooms in a roasting tin, gills uppermost, drizzle each mushroom with a little olive oil, pour over the lemon juice and season. Bake for 30 minutes until well cooked through. Meanwhile place the breadcrumbs in a food processor, then add the parsley, garlic and lemon rind. Process until well blended, the crumbs will turn a nice green colour. But don’t overwork the mixture, it might turn pasty. Carefully spoon some over each mushroom and then gently press in the mixture with your fingers. Spoon the butter evenly over each mushroom. Turn up the oven to 230C/450F/Gas Mark 8 and return the mushrooms to the top shelf of the oven. Bake for 10 minutes until the crumbs are starting to turn brown. If necessary finish them off under the grill. Serve immediately.
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Makes 12-16 squares 200g butter, softened 300g dark chocolate, roughly chopped 8-10 Orange Zest Spice Drops® 3 eggs 180-200g caster sugar 100g plain flour 50g cocoa powder the juice of 1 medium orange Preheat the oven to 180C and line a 24x20cm brownie tin with baking parchment. Put the butter, dark chocolate and Orange Zest Spice Drops® in a non-stick saucepan and very gently melt over a low heat, stirring every now and then, until smooth – take care not to overheat it. Leave to cool down. Whisk the eggs and sugar together with an electric whisk until the mixture is pale, frothy and leaves a trail when the beaters are lifted. Gently stir in the cooled chocolate mixture and the orange juice and continue to whisk. Sift over the flour and cocoa, stir in. Pour into the lined tin and bake for 30-35 minutes. Cool in the tin, then cut into squares.
Makes about 12 pieces 250g bread, a mixture of white and wholemeal is good 200g mixed dried fruit or mixture of sultanas and currants or 200g mincemeat 50g dark chocolate chips 40g mixed peel 300ml semi skimmed milk 1 egg, beaten 50g demerara or dark brown sugar 4 Lemon Spice Drops 6 Mulling Spices Spice Drops 50g butter, melted Tear the bread into a large mixing bowl and add the dried fruit or mincemeat, chocolate chips, mixed peel and mixed spice. Add the milk. Mix with a wooden spoon scrunch through your fingers to combine everything and to break up the bread. Add the egg, sugar and Lemon Spice Drops® and Mulling Spices Spice Drops®. Stir well, then set aside for 15 minutes to allow the bread to soak all the flavours. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas mark 4. Butter and line the base of a 20cm non-stick square cake tin. Stir the melted butter into the bread pudding mixture. Then tip into the tin. Bake for 1 hour or until firm and golden brown. Check half way through cooking. If the pudding starts to brown too much, you can cover it with foil and continue to bake. Turn out of the tin and strip off the paper. Cut into squares and serve warm with a drizzling of single cream.
This makes a change to the traditional bread and butter pudding and adds that festive touch by using Italian panettone. Half a teaspoon of vanilla extract can be added to the custard for further indulgence. Serves 4 60g raisins 1 tbsp orange zest 3 tbsp dark rum 200ml milk 100ml double cream 2 eggs 30g caster sugar 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon 30g butter, softened 300g fruit bread or panettone, sliced Soak the raisins and orange zest in the rum. Put the milk and cream in a saucepan and bring up to boiling point. Then remove from the heat. Beat the eggs in a large bowl and strain the cream and milk mixture into the eggs, stirring continuously. Strain the liquid from the raisins orange zest and rum mixture into the egg mixture and stir. Set aside the raisins and orange zest. Mix together the sugar and ground cinnamon. Liberally butter a pie dish and butter the slices of panettone. Fill the dish with a layer of buttered panettone, then scatter with a third of the cinnamon sugar and half of the rum-soaked sultanas and orange zest. Repeat this with the next layer, then top with the final layer of panettone butter-side up. Sprinkle with the remaining sugar. Slowly pour the custard all over the panettone and leave to soak for 30 minutes. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C/360°F/gas mark 4. Bake in the centre of the oven for about 30 minutes or until it is just set and golden-brown. Serve warm or cold with double cream or ice cream.
This is a favourite at most parties and also when you fancy a quick snack with friends.
200g tortilla chips
50g cheddar cheese or Red Leicester, grated
¼ tsp ground cumin
1 red onion, finely chopped
1 small red tomato, finely chopped or 4 tbsp salsa
2 green chillies, seeded and finely chopped or 8-10 jalapeños
A few washed and chopped coriander leaves, to serve (optional)
6 tbsp sour cream, to serve (optional)
Cover a baking tray with tortilla chips and spread the cheese evenly on top. Sprinkle over the cumin, onion, tomato and chillies. Place under the grill for 6-7 minutes or bake in the oven for 10 minutes at 180C/gas 4.
Remove from the oven and garnish with the coriander leaves, if using.
This is a quick way to eat oily fish. The pâté can be used as a sandwich filler or spread on some toast, You can make this pâté with smoked mackerel or even sardines. Serves 4 88g can boneless and skinless mackerel fillets, drained 40g butter, softened 1 tsp lemon juice 1/4 tsp black pepper A few sprigs of washed and chopped flat leaf parsley Purée the fish, butter, cheese, lemon juice and black pepper in a food processor until almost smooth, then tip in the parsley and blend for a few seconds more. Divide the mixture among four small ramekins or bowls and level the surface. Cover the pâté and chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. Serve chilled.
These are like a double layered shortbread which are sweet and tangy. The base is baked first and then the lemony layer is placed on top and baked further for a once in a while treat. Makes approximately 16 pieces For the Base: 225g butter, softened 65g icing sugar (confectioners') 225g plain flour For the Filling: 4 eggs, beaten 330g caster sugar 4 tbsp plain flour 4 tbsp lemon juice 1 tablespoon lemon zest (approx 1 lemon), finely grated Preheat the oven to 180C. Blend the butter with the icing sugar and the 225g plain flour. Place the mixture into a baking tin (approx 13x9x2 inch). Bake in the centre of the oven for 18-20 minutes until almost firm. Remove from the oven. For the filling, blend the eggs with the caster sugar, the 4 tablespoons of plain flour, lemon juice and lemon zest. Pour over the baked layer. Return the tin to the oven and bake for 20 minutes more. Loosen around the edges, and cut into 16 pieces. Sprinkle with icing sugar and serve.
This is a great way of using up leftover apples in your fruit bowl. I've added oats for that extra crunchiness and a little roughage. I've also used less sugar for the topping as is traditionally used. Serves 6 For the crumble: 150g plain flour 70g rolled oats 80g brown sugar 130g vegan margarine or butter For the filling: 350g apples, some peeled, cored and cut into 1cm pieces 30g brown sugar 1 tbsp plain flour A generous pinch of ground cinnamon Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4. Place the flour, oats and sugar in a large bowl and mix well. Taking a few cubes of margarine or butter at a time rub into the flour mixture. Keep rubbing until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Place the fruit in a large bowl and sprinkle over the sugar, flour and cinnamon. Stir well being careful not to break up the fruit. Butter a 24cm/9in ovenproof dish. Spoon the fruit mixture into the bottom, then sprinkle the crumble mixture on top. Bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes until the crumble is browned and the fruit mixture bubbling. Serve with custard.
Egg and Anchovy Salad Anchovies are small salt water fish shiny and silver in colour native to the Mediterranean. They add a piquancy to any dish and only a few are required to lift the flavours of any dish. They are available predominantly preserved in oil. If you do not use all the anchovies from a tin or a jar, transfer them submerged in oil in a sealed container and place in the refrigerator. If you cannot get hold of anchovies, replace the fish with tuna. Serves 4 6 hard-boiled eggs, chopped 1 small red onion, finely chopped 2 tbsp washed and finely chopped chives A bunch of washed and chopped dill, plus extra sprigs, to serve 6 anchovies in oil, chopped and 1 tbsp oil reserved 1/2 tsp ground white pepper Combine the eggs, onion, chives, dill, anchovies, anchovy oil and ground white pepper. Spread on crispbread, scatter with extra dill and serve.
You may have loads of jars of jam and don't know what to do with any surplus. This is a cake which can be made only when you feel like having a spongy treat. Serves 6 150g butter or margarine 2 eggs 100g caster sugar or granulated if you've run out of caster 1 tsp vanilla extract Zest of 1 lemon 200g self raising flour Milk as required 300g jam Preheat the oven to 180C/gas 4. Grease a square or round tin and line with greaseproof paper. In a bowl, mix the butter or margarine with the eggs and sugar. Mix in the vanilla extract and lemon zest continue mixing. Put in the flour and mix. Combine well and if the mixture feels too dry, add a little milk. The consistency should be like cake batter. Put the mixture into the tin. Make holes in the mixture and put in the jam. Spread the remaining jam over the batter. Put in the oven and bake for 30-40 minutes or until golden.
4 slices crispbread
Strawberries are a great source of vitamins C and K and include folic acid, fibre and potassium. Pick strawberries that are firm and plump and bring to room temperature before serving. Serves 2 150ml double cream 1 tsp vanilla extract 100g strawberries, hulled and washed 2 washed sprigs of mint (optional) Place the cream in a bowl and add the vanilla extract. Whisk the cream until soft peaks form and set aside. Slice or cut the strawberries into pieces. Fold in the strawberries into the cream and divide into 2 bowls. Garnish with the mint, if using.
Most of the fibre is found in the skins of potatoes which assists in digestion. This is a once in a while treat but can be served with a crisp green salad. Serves 2 2 baking potatoes, scrubbed and washed 1 tbsp olive oil 50g Cheddar Cheese, grated 2 spring onions, washed and finely chopped 1 tsp Dijon mustard 1 tsp butter Pierce the the potatoes with a fork all over. Place in a pan of boiling water and boil for about 10 minutes. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas 4. Carefully remove the potatoes from the saucepan and place them on a baking tray. Drizzle the olive oil over them and then rub the oil into the potatoes. Bake for 30 minutes or until the potatoes are tender. Remove from the oven and cut the potatoes in half when cool enough to handle. Scoop out the middle of the potatoes being careful not to ruin the skins and transfer the mash to a mixing bowl. Add the cheese, spring onions, mustard and butter to the potato filling and combine. Put the fillings back into the potato skins. Bake in the oven for 10 to 15 minutes or until golden brown on top.